BBC orders doc trilogy about U.S. hate crimes

Top Hat Productions' Love and Hate Crime is among several docs the UK pubcaster has commissioned for BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4. (Pictured: BBC head of docs Patrick Holland)
June 14, 2016

The BBC will explore hate crimes in the United States in the documentary trilogy Love and Hate Crime.

Produced by Top Hat Productions, the three x 50-minute doc will air on BBC3 and look at crimes that involve love, passion and prejudice through interviews with police, prosecutors, witnesses, perpetrators and those close to the victims.

Cases profiled include the murder of a transgender woman by her boyfriend after he discovered she was born male, the murder of a Texas man who was killed by his boyfriend’s family and two white teenage girls from Mississippi who ended up participating in a race hate killing.

“The crimes we are looking at are compelling stories but also complex, with a mystery at the center of them,” Top Hat managing director Darren Kemp said in a statement. “The aim is to look at what happened from the perspective of everybody involved to find out what happened and why, rather than just reporting the shocking headline.”

The series, which was commissioned prior to the mass shooting that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando last weekend, is among a raft of new doc commissions at the UK pubcaster.

True Vision is producing the BBC1 doc My Parent’s In Prison (working title), about the challenges faced by a group of children whose parents are behind bars. Brian Woods is executive producing.

Meanwhile, Label1 is producing the BBC2 series The Hospital: Life and Death in a Week (working title, six x 60 minutes), which will take viewers inside one of London’s biggest hospital trusts, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Exec producers are Simon Dickson and Lorraine Charker-Phillips.

Grant Wardrop Productions is making an observational documentary about British cyclist and racing driver Chris Hoy that will also air on BBC2.

Sir Chris Hoy: From Velodrome to Le Mans (working title) was shot over four years and follows the six-time Olympic champion as he switches from cycling to motor racing and competes in the endurance motor race, Le Mans.

Lastly, the BBC4 doc Surviving Aberfan (one x 60 minutes) revisits a 1966 disaster in which 116 children and 28 adults were killed after an avalanche of coal waste crashed into a school and residential area in the South Wales mining village of Aberfan.

Testimony Films is producing with Steve Humphries serving as exec producer.

“These commissions are a clear indication of how we are putting authorship at the heart of our commissioning, and attest to the unique breadth and range of documentaries at the BBC,” said Patrick Holland (pictured), the BBC’s head of documentaries, in a statement.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.